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Everything you didn’t know you needed to know about toilets

By: Kate Row | Published: Nov 10, 2022

In total, the average person spends about 1 ½ years in the bathroom over the course of their lifetime. That’s 547 days spent in the bathroom! And the restroom might just be the most overlooked room in the home. We have everything from cleaning hacks that will save you to stories of the strangest objects ever found in a toilet. 

Check out some of the most unique toilets in the world, including one that costs $19 million. We’ve collected some wild stories about toilets that are sure to wow you. And we’ve included some practical tips on how to keep yours clean. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly about the porcelain throne.

$19 Million Toilet

The most expensive toilet in the world is a whopping $19 million dollars. The International Space Station Toilet was built by Russia in 2008. It has special features to help Astronauts use the restroom in an anti-gravity environment. Anything build to function in space will be costly.

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It has leg braces to keep astronauts from flying away when they’re trying to take care of business. The Space Toilet is also the first toilet ever to have a filter that separates waste form water and purifies the water for drinking! It’s the ultimate recycling machine, but it sure does cost.

Use Coca Cola to Clean your Toilet

If you don’t have a toilet cleaner on hand, try this hack to clean your toilet. This is one of the most unique ways you can clean out the inside of your toilet. Coke actually dissolves the rust rings that often develop in the bowl. Pour a can of Coke around the rim of the bowl so it covers the entire thing.

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Let it sit for about an hour to give the soda some time to wipe away the rings. Scrub it away with a toilet brush and flush to finish. Done! This is a great way to clean the toilet if you can manage to spare a can of Coke. 

A Live Bomb was Found in a Toilet

Among the list of things you don’t want to find in your toilet is a bomb. Somehow a live bomb from World War II was found in a public bathroom in Stockport, England. When police were called to investigate this strange item they had no idea the surprise they were in for.

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Authorities had to evacuate houses in the area and the bomb squad was called in to gingerly remove the bomb from the toilet. They safely let it explode in a separate controlled underwater setting. We have no way of knowing how it got in a toilet but we’re sure whoever discovered it was shocked to find it and even more shocked to discover what it was.

Lobster Loos in New Zealand

The capital of New Zealand spent $375,000 to create these wild public toilets. Architect Bret Thurston crafted these wacky structures on the waterfront of the city. You might wonder what could possibly be the reason that someone would create a toilet this insane.

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Apparently the goal of these orange tentacle toilets was to attract tourists to Wellington. By looking at the red and orange steel tubes you would never know these were public bathrooms. If you’re ever in Wellington, New Zealand you can check out these unique bathrooms that are open 24 hours a day.

Elvis Presley Died on the Toilet

The King of Rock and Roll famously passed away on the toilet. This was a less than luxurious end to an unbelievable career in music. It was reported that he died of a heart attack. This was most likely a result of his addiction to prescription pills. 

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His girlfriend, Ginger Alden found him unconscious in the bathroom of his home in Graceland. The Graceland Estate is now a tourist museum but Elvis’s suite, including the bathroom he died in, is off-limits to the public.

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Different Names for Toilets

Toilets are named differently around the world and there are tons of slang words that have become common terms used to refer to the bathroom. In the U.S. we often hear “toilet”, “bathroom”, and “lavatory”. It might be referred to as “the crapper”, “the little boy/girl’s room”, or the “the can” in some contexts.

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In Europe they often refer to the toilet as the “loo”. You might have heard “the john” as well. “Hit the head” or “powder your nose” are other ways to express to people that you’re using the bathroom. There are hundreds of different ways to refer to the bathroom around the world.

 

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Bathroom in an Elevator Shaft

Someone decided to renovate and they turned an elevator shaft into a bathroom. It’s actually a pretty genius way to repurpose this space! But what really throws us for a loop is that they put in glass flooring!

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We can imagine it is very unsettling to sit on the toilet and be able to peer down into a seemingly bottomless pit. It would feel as if you’re dangling over the hole while trying to use the bathroom! We like our feet planted firmly on the ground when we’re doing our business. Points for creativity, though!

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When the Kids Discover the Toilet

Every parent knows that everything is a toy to kids. When your son or daughter discovers the toilet, they are bound to find a way to use it for just about anything other than its real purpose. In one hysterical example this young boy tries to actually flush himself into the ministry of magic dressed as Harry Potter.

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It is hard to explain to kids where the toilet takes waste. They just see a flush and the water in the bowl disappears. This creative kid thought he would try to transport himself down the toilet to see where he might end up.

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Use a Pumice Stone to Clean your Toilet

Pumice stone is usually used to remove dead skin because the rough texture allows you to painlessly rub it off. But it can also be used to clean your toilet! If you have stubborn rings around the bowl that don’t want to leave, try scrubbing it with a pumice stone.

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First soak the stone in warm water and wet the inside of the bowl to avoid scratches. Just scrub the stains away, flush, and say goodbye to the grime. If you use this technique, we definitely don’t recommend using the pumice on your skin after.

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Judy Garland Died on the Toilet

Judy Garland had an illustrious career on screen. She was a talented actress, singer, and dancer best known for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. But her life off-screen was very tumultuous. She married 5 different times and struggled with addiction.

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She overdosed on pills in the bathroom of her home and was found by her husband. As we’ve seen with many celebrities, the glitz and glam seen by the public is not always indicative of what’s going on behind the scenes. She is remembered for her impact on entertainment.

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Spiderman’s Bathroom

If you’re up for a challenge, this is the perfect bathroom for you. Set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd by taking a climb up to the wall. You’ll also need absolute perfect balance to use this one.

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This particular toilet is made especially for the tallest man in the world or for Spiderman. We have to wonder if anyone has actually ventured to use this one or if it’s more for show than anything else.

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One Drink Too Many

When you’ve had one or two drinks too many, you might find yourself in the bathroom with your head in the toilet bowl. When this happens, we hope we all have good friends to hold your hair while we throw up.

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We have seen people pass out sitting next to the toilet but we can’t imagine how this happened. And we don’t even want to think about how gross that floor is. Hopefully someone helped this girl get right side up after they snapped a pic. 

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Use White Vinegar to Clean your Toilet

One of the most effective ways to clean your toilet is to use white vinegar. White vinegar might even be more effective than bleach to restore the white color to your toilet bowl and eliminate stubborn water stains. 

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Soak some toilet paper in the vinegar and place it against the stain. Let that sit overnight to let the vinegar do its magic. Flush and rinse the toilet bowl and say goodbye to those stains! Full-strength vinegar will also work on tough stains if you don’t have white vinegar on hand.

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Composting Toilets

Like any machine in the 21st century, toilets are constantly evolving and changing with the times. Many toilets are moving towards being more eco-friendly and sustainable. Composting toilets are one such example.

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Composting toilets are also commonly referred to as “dry toilets” because they don’t require water to flush. They compost human waste so it can be used for soil enrichment. These have gained popularity in Canada and will soon be seen all over the world.

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Toilet Design Fail

What was possibly going through the designer’s mind who created this bathroom? We can’t imagine who would want to sit on a toilet across from someone else. Not only are these toilets facing each other but they are much too close for comfort.

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At least you don’t have to share toilet paper! Wherever this toilet is we cannot imagine this is a fast way to make friends. Maybe you could high five your friend while you’re using the restroom. This has to be one of the most confusing toilet designs we’ve ever seen.

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Make DIY Toilet Bombs to Clean your Toilet

You can find store-bought toilet bombs that are pretty effective cleaners. But if you want to save yourself a trip to the store, you can also make these yourself right at home using household items you probably have laying around. Your home-made cleaners will also be free of unnecessary chemicals.

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Stir together baking soda, citric acid, and your favorite scent of essential oils. Pack these into balls and keep them stored for when your toilet needs a clean. Toss one in the toilet bowl and let it fizzle to clean out any grime and leave a fresh and clean smell.

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Toilet on Mt. Kilimanjaro

In Tanzania you will find one of the most unique toilets on the side of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Barafu Camp toilet is 4,600m up. This toilet is perhaps the tallest long-drop toilet in the world. A tube is dug underground underneath to collect waste from the toilet.

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Adventurous mountain climbers and campers can stop by to use the restroom on their outdoor excursions. Use this restroom if you dare and be careful not to fall over the edge!

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Toilet on the Second Floor

In terms of pointless toilet designs, this one might just take the cake. We can’t imagine why a toilet would need to be on top of some stairs. Maybe the house has an old design but even so, we don’t know why this would even exist!

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If you’ve ever wanted to climb some steps to get to your toilet, this is the place for you. The bars on the window behind the toilet only add to the bizarre design. This bathroom must have made it difficult to sell the house because we imagine most people do not want to walk up 3 stairs to use the bathroom.

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Don’t Clean your Toilet with Blue Toilet Tank Tablets

Toilet cleaning tips are helpful. But you need to know what not to use on your toilet as well. You might’ve seen the cleaning tablets that turn the toilet water blue. They’re advertised as cleaning them but they actually just corrode it.

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They’re made of chemicals that are really harsh on the porcelain of your toilet bowl. This could eventually erode some of the important parts of your toilet. You then have to replace the pieces which are eroded and might need to call in a  plumber eventually. Avoid this headache by avoiding the toilet tablets.

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Python comes out of toilet and scares kittens

The last thing you want to see come out of your toilet is a snake, let alone a giant python! This enormous 12ft long snake emerged from a toilet in one family’s home. You can imagine it was incredibly shocking to the family!

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It was also shocking to the family’s 2 kittens which the snake greeted! The snake headed straight for the kittens looking for a snack. Thankfully, there was a glass wall separating the animals and the kittens were safe from harm. Professionals came and removed the snake from the home and no one was harmed. 

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Toilet Island

Toilet Island sounds like something out of a fever dream but this place actually exists! And it is exactly what it sounds like. A tiny island near Placencia, Belize is home to nothing but a toilet and some palm trees.

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If you get shipwrecked and happen to end up on this island, at least you will have a proper place to use the restroom. We can only speculate as to when or why this toilet was resurrected on this island. 

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Listerine in Toilet

A surprising household use for mouthwash is to use it as a toilet cleaner. If you’ve run out of other cleaner options your mouthwash might be the perfect way to keep your toilet clean. Pour about a quarter cup of mouthwash in the bowl.

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Let it sit for a good 30 minutes and then scrub the edges of the bowl for a little bit. You might want to pour some water on the sides to help flush out the product. Flush and enjoy a shiny grime-free toilet. 

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The Egg Toilet

Stefano Giovannoni’s tech toilet is one of the fanciest ones around. You would almost not know that it even was a toilet. The spherical egg shape gives it a futuristic look. It might even be considered a piece of art.

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But futuristic toilets cost. It can be mounted to the wall for $1,950 or can stand alone on the floor for $2,950. Its appeal is mostly aesthetic. If you want a toilet that doesn’t really look like a toilet, this one’s for you. It comes in gray and white.

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Toilets Look Different Around the World

In Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan you might find a bathroom experience very different to that in the U.S. To put it plainly, you can expect to squat. In-ground toilets are pretty common in these parts of the world. 

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There will usually be a pedal for running water or a bucket to wash down waste. You can find these kinds of toilets in various Asian countries.

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Put a Red Solo Cup or Toilet Roll Under the Toilet Seat

A little known secret is that a red solo cup or a toilet roll under the toilet seat is one way to notify housekeeping that you’re out of toilet paper. We have no idea how this came to be but photos have been circulating of toilet seats being propped up by an empty roll of toilet paper or a red solo cup.

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Apparently, this will notify housekeeping that you need more toilet paper in case they missed the empty roll. Most of us probably don’t travel with red plastic cups, but if you do this is another way it will prove helpful.

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The Fountain of Toilets

Have you ever seen a fountain of toilets? There’s a first time for everything. We cannot imagine why anyone would want to create a fountain of toilets but art is subjective I suppose. This art piece can be found in Foshan, China.

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It’s made of 10,000 toilets and is 16ft high. The artist Shu Yong used all pre-owned toilets to create this masterpiece. Maybe the idea came to him while using the bathroom. We can’t be sure but it serves as a fascinating tourist destination. 

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$93,000 Found in a Toilet

Chamindu Amarsinghe might just be the most honest janitor in the world. He found $93,000 in the trash cans and pipes of a toilet in Australia in 2011. When he found the money he immediately called the police to report his findings.

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The police were unable to identify where the money came from so the janitor was in for a huge surprise. The judge let him keep $76,000 as a reward for being honest about the find. Let this be a lesson to all of us to always be honest.

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Bathroom Etiquette in London, Paris, and Amsterdam

Customs are different in different parts of the world and it’s good to have a lay of the land before you travel to make sure you’re being respectful. And it’s good to know what to expect when you’re in a new place. In London, Paris, and Amsterdam you can expect to pay to use the restroom.

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There will often be a tip dish for bathroom attendants and it is customary to leave $1 as a thank you. Sometimes, there might be a fee for toilet paper as well. Keep some cash with you when you travel to these places for when you use a public toilet.

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Talking Toilets in Japan

Japan has created the world’s first talking toilets. These high-tech toilets speak to you and can even crack jokes. Japan has revolutionized toilets in many ways. They are constantly striving to craft the most energy efficient bathroom possible.

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They’ve made bidets to use water to wash and reduce toilet paper waste. They’ve even created toilet seats that are warm. The talking toilet is just the next step in revolutionizing the way we all use the restroom.

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The Bathroom That Will Give you Vertigo

This bathroom is making us dizzy by just looking at it. It’s an optical illusion that makes us feel like we’re going to fall into a hole while using the bathroom. This is certainly a dangerous person for someone who has had a couple drinks!

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Perhaps the designer wanted to test people’s balance. The floor is actually completely flat but the black and white checkered pattern makes it appear like there is a giant hole right next to the toilet. It’s pretty trippy!

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Crystal Toilet

You can get almost anything bedazzled with Swarovski crystals these days as long as you’re willing to pay the price. Yes, you can even bedazzle your toilet. We’re not sure why you would want your toilet to be covered in crystals but it is possible.

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This swarovski crystal toilet costs a grand total of $75,000. If you want your bathroom to shimmer and shine this is definitely the toilet for you. This will certainly take a life of luxury to the next level.

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Supportive Fans Cheering you On

If you are feeling like you need some support in the bathroom, this is the perfect toilet for you. We’d love to meet the designer of this bathroom floor. What inspired them to make this floor of supportive people?

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It’s an optical illusion that kind of throws you off. We’re not sure if this is our favorite bathroom design because we don’t necessarily want to feel like there are other people in the bathroom with us. It’s supposed to be a private room. But it certainly is unique!

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Use Baby Oil to Clean

Baby oil is another way you can keep your toilet shiny and clean. This method is particularly useful for the other parts of the toilet, outside of the bowl. Put a few drops of baby oil onto a washcloth. We recommend microfiber for best results. 

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DIY joy

Buff the toilet handle with your cloth. Wipe down the outside of the seat and the tank to make them sparkle and shine. You can use this tactic on other bathroom fixtures. It works especially well for handles and faucets. 

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The Bathroom for Risk Takers

This restroom is made for the risk takers that want to add an element of fear to their time in the bathroom. It looks like an Indiana Jones-themed toilet. It appears like the toilet rests above a pit.

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Actually, the floor is an optical illusion so there’s no real danger here. We hate to disappoint the risk takers but the toilet and sink are not actually hanging over a pit. But whoever designed the thing definitely had adrenaline junkies in mind. 

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